The weather has remained as crazy as can be expected. Many of the nights are going into the 40s, but the water in the pools and vats stays in the low 70s. Amazingly, not one fish had demonstrated any sign of distress with the broiling hot and the freezing cold temp swings. I would have bet heavily against those odds. For the last two weeks I have been catching fish and bringing them inside. I did not think out that part of the project and have learned my lesson the hard way for next year. There are still fish in each of the four containers.
Pool #1 has been the top producer and just exploded with Endlers and Least Killies. Final counts will be next week, but I'd estimate 225-250 Endlers and 75-80 Least Killies. The fish are so healthy that they are reproducing and dropping fry during the three stage reacclimation process from outside to indoortanks. I have thinned the schoals down a lot, but within the next two days I'm going to have to bit the bullet and get in the pool to wrap things up. Still no baby crayfish despite seeing the adults.
Vat #1 was a late bloomer. and due to the weather changes has actually started to turn over, the process the bottom debres go through in fall and spring. The counts in this vat are likely higher than I estimated with 125-150 Endlers and 50-70 Least Killies. You guessed it, no baby crayfish yet. I'm not sure why, but some of the female Endlers are huge over 2". I will quick drain this vat within the next two days and pull the rest.
Pool #2 is still thick with hair algae. I did discover that I can get the fish out although it is going to be a process. I will start this week. It should be a slimmy mess, but I put them in there so it looks like have to deal. Not happening next year.
Vat #2 has been pea green since the first week in August. I got the Jacks out today and was dissapointed that they only grew about an inch. I could ahave done better leaving them indoors. Keep in mind this vat had to be scrapped and got a 5 week delayed start. I also have removed about 20 Gambusia. The fry survived because the adults could not see them in all the green. Just observing in the tanks tonight it appears I have two pairs and an odd female.
Over the next two weeks I'll wrap up the thread and give final counts and a list of what I learned the good, bad and ugly. The project endured two different frog invasions, weather that was really unstable, deer drinking out of the containers nightly and my trial and error process. I'm also planning next year and would really like some suggestions on stocking.
Just pulled about 50 more fish from Pool 1 and Vat 1. That brings to a total well over 350 fish and there are still more. Vat 2-Jacks are out and seem happy inside. I have gotten about 35 gambusia out of the vat, it was so green nothing could see well enough to eat the fry!
Another update coming Sunday!!!
I worked hard Friday evening and Saturday pulling fish like crazy from Pool #1 and Vat #1. I removed approximately 100 more. I think most the Endlers are out, but I can't be sure as I just kept catching additional fry that were no more than a week old. There are still more fish and I have yet to pull the adult crayfish.
Pool #2, I found a way around the jello like green moss and pulled about 100 Endlers and Least Killies out of there. I'd say there are at least another 100-150 and likely more. Vat #2 -I did find another Jack, so what ever the caretaker thought was a dead fish while I was away in August must have been something else. I completely drained the green water and will clean it out some time this week for another winter project.
The bad News, the temp fell into the 40s last night and it only got to 62 with clouds and wind today. They predict the low 40s tonight and only 60 by noon. I believe that this may have tipped the scales into a bad place for the remaining fish. I will attempt to recover more Monday and Tuesday and treat them for ich and what not when I get them inside. I'll update late next week and let you know how it turns out. I've been really lucky so far and hope to dodge one more bullet.
It has been a few weeks and I have been harvesting fish from the pools non-stop. After starting with around 40 breeders total Endlers and Least Killies combined, I figured I had enough tank space to handle this harvest from my summer project without a problem. In my fishroom I prepared 4-20L and 3-15 and a 40gal Brooder. Well, I now know that given the success of the project my tank space is not enough. I stopped counting when I had approximately 620 fish and five 5gal buckets full ready to tank up. Those buckets contain another 100 (+) fish total. I got caught off guard as the weather changed to cold 3-6 weeks earlier then it should have. The entire summer was plagued by strange weather ranging from 100s-60s. 3 weeks ago the weather got cold for a few days in a row-Lows in the low 40s at night. I figured if stock did not get in doors they would die. I worked hard and guess what??? Nothing died nor did any get sick! Last week, temps dropped into the low 60s-High 50s during the day and in the very low 40s at night. I filled the buckets again and again no sick fish, just another 100 or so including newly born fry. It has now stayed in the 50s-60 day time and very low 40s-high 30s at night. After two or three days in a row I was worried. I also got very busy with work so a week went bye with only one harvest pull in the buckets. Tuesday I went out to look at the ponds as I just knew all the fish remaining would be dead or on their way to dead. I was stunned, not only are the fish still healthy they continue to breed! I will get the remaining fish out Saturday and Sunday, although they will be in buckets for a while until people buy some, my Belonasox eat them or I set up the 60gal brooder tank and chemically filter it.
If I had to estimate, I'd say I am closing in if not at 900 (+) fish indoors and there are at least 200 more out there. Keep in mind I estimated I had about 400 fish when I began to harvest, so there are likely more. The next update will be a summary of how I did it, it was not hard or expensive, and what I learned besides the fact I suck at estimating fish in kiddie pools! I really hope others will try this next years as it was an adventure. I have learned a lot and figured out how to over come some of the problems for next year. If you would like some Endlers or Least Killies, p.m. me and I will cut you a deal that will put Aquabid to shame.
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